The Howard girls track and field team returned to dominance, while the boys squad continued its recent run of success at the Howard County outdoor track and field championships on Tuesday evening.
The boys won by almost 30 points to claim the Triple Crown — county championships in cross country, indoor and outdoor track and field — for the second straight season. The Lions, highlighted by their throwers and a deep lineup, scored 115 points to finish comfortably ahead second-place Oakland Mills (87 points).
“Track is sprints, jumps, throws and distance, and you have to be competitive in all four to be a championship team,” said Howard boys head coach Zack Dickerson. “That’s how we mold our team.”
Thirty-seven of Howard’s 115 points came from throwers Collin Greene, Chris Joseph and Brian Quainoo. Greene won the shot put on Monday, while Joseph and Quainoo placed second and fifth, respectively. They continued to score points Tuesday, finishing third, fourth and fifth, respectively, in the discus.
“They made up almost 40 points total,” Dickerson said. “Their hard work has paid off.”
Other than Greene’s shot put victory, Howard’s only other boys first-place finisher was senior Griffin Shirodkar, who cleared 11-feet, 6-inches in the pole vault.
“This is my first year vaulting,” said Shirodkar. “It feels awesome. It’s really exciting to get the Triple Crown two years in a row.”
The Howard girls team also won by nearly 30 points to win their sixth outdoor title in the last seven seasons. The Lions, led by distance runner Amanda Eliker and a deep roster similar to the boys team, scored 155.5 points to edge Mt. Hebron, which finished second with 127.5 points.
“We’ve won all six the same way,” said Howard girls coach Tyler Wade. “We want to score in every event, and there were only a couple events we didn’t score in the past two days.”
Eliker shined on Day One Monday at Long Reach High School. She won the two-mile (3,200-meter run), while teammates Sara Kindbom and Emily Gorny finished second and third, respectively.
Eliker was equally impressive Tuesday. The junior finished first in the mile (1,600-meter run) with a time of 5 minutes, 12 seconds, second in the 800-meter run and was the fourth leg of the Lions’ third-place finishing 4x800 relay team.
“She’s inspiring,” Wade said. “You saw all fall that she was the best cross country runner in the county, and she proved she was the best distance runner in Howard County this year. She’s a rockstar.”
Despite Howard’s victory, the best girls performer from the two-day meet wasn’t on the Lions’ roster. The most outstanding athlete, boy or girl, was Mt. Hebron’s Jaiden Ritter. The senior was the lone quadruple champion, placing first in the 100- and 200-meter dashes and running on Hebron’s first-place 4x200 and 4x400 relay teams.
“I knew I could do it,” Ritter said about winning four titles. “This is my last outdoor championships. I wanted to come out here and leave everything out on the track.”
Ritter wasn’t the only Vikings runner to win multiple gold medals. Satori Valentine was a triple winner, finishing first in the 400-meter dash and 800-meter run. She also ran a leg on Hebron’s winning 4x400 relay team.
“I wanted to represent Mt. Hebron and coach (Teyarnte) Carter to the best of my abilities, and I did that,” Valentine said.
In addition to Eliker, Ritter and Valentine, the other girls to win multiple events were Reservoir’s Adaobi Tabugbo and Mt. Hebron’s Sierrah Matthews and Garcelle Pierre.
Tabugbo won the 100 hurdles and 300 hurdles, while Matthews and Pierre both ran legs of the Vikings’ gold-medal winning 4x200 and 4x400 relays. Matthews also finished second in the individual 400-meter dash and third in the 200-meter dash.
The top individual performer on the boys side was Hammond’s Damon Brockenberry. He won the 100- and 400-meter dashes. He won the 100 by one-hundredths of a second over Atholton’s Kristopher Lytle.
“I just wanted to get a good start and run good races,” Brockenberry said. “I didn’t want to stress myself out. I knew I just had to run my race.”
The other boys to win multiple events were Lytle, Oakland Mills’ Deon Breland, River Hill’s Anish Nanjappa and Chase McGeehan and Long Reach’s Kimball Tyler, Djavan White, Jaylen Myers and Isaiah Powell-Major.
Lytle won the 200-meter dash and ran the first leg of the Raiders’ winning 4x100-meter relay. Breland won the 300 hurdles and long jump. Nanjappa won two gold medals on Monday, finishing first in the two-mile and as a member of the Hawks’ 4x800 relay team. McGeehan won the 800 and was on the same 4x800 team as Nanjappa. For Long Reach, Tyler, White, Myers and Powell-Major teamed up to win the 4x200- and 4x400-meter relays.
Boys team standings
1. Howard, 115 points
T-2. Oakland Mills, 87
3. Centennial, 67
4. Atholton, 65
5. Mt. Hebron, 63
6. Hammond, 62
7. River Hill, 61
8. Reservoir, 57
9. Long Reach, 54
10. Wilde Lake, 36
11. Marriotts Ridge, 16
12. Glenelg, 15
Girls team standings
1. Howard, 155.5
2. Mt. Hebron, 127.5
3. Reservoir, 115
4. Atholton, 112
5. River Hill, 87
6. Oakland Mills, 33
7. Centennial, 32
8. Hammond, 13
9. Glenelg, 10
10. Long Reach, 9
T-11. Marriotts Ridge, 4
T-11. Wilde Lake, 4
4x800: Darren McGowan, Anish Nanjappa, Evan Ying, Chase McGeehan, River Hill
4x400: Djavan White, Jaylen Myers, Isaiah Powell-Major, Kimball Tyler, Long Reach
4x200: Jaylen Myers, Isaiah Powell-Major, Djavan White, Kimball Tyler, Long Reach
4x100: Kristopher Lytle, Ali Bowens, Noah Alper, Gyasi Bowens, Atholton
3,200: Anish Nanjappa, River Hill
1,600: Cameron Hindle, Long Reach
800: Chase McGeehan, River Hill
400: Damon Brockenberry, Hammond
200: Kristopher Lytle, Atholton
100: Damon Brockenberry, Hammond
300 hurdles: Deon Breland, Oakland Mills
110 hurdles: Loick Amouzou, Hammond
Triple jump: Anthony Matthews, Centennial
Long jump: Deon Breland, Oakland Mills
High jump: Alex Kohn, Oakland Mills
Shot put: Collin Greene, Howard
Discus: Jack Ragonese, Centennial
Pole vault: Griffin Shirodkar, Howard
4x800: Emily Brefo, Katherine Morris, Camryn Streib, Isha Santhosh, Atholton
4x400: Sierrah Matthews, Jaiden Ritter, Garcelle Pierre, Satori Valentine
4x200: Sierrah Matthews, Garcelle Pierre, Blaire Ridgely, Jaiden Ritter, Mt. Hebron
4x100: Janasia Buckner, Araoluwa Omitowoju, Zoe Scott, Sydnwey Robinson, River Hill
3,200: Amanda Eliker, Howard
1,600: Amanda Eliker, Howard
800: Satori Valentine, Mt. Hebron
400: Satori Valentine, Mt. Hebron
200: Jaiden Ritter, Mt. Hebron
300 hurdles: Adaobi Tabugbo, Reservoir
100 hurdles: Adaobi Tabugbo, Reservoir
100: Jaiden Ritter, Mt. Hebron
Triple jump: Oluwaseun Sule, Oakland Mills
Long jump: Morgan Nasir, Atholton
High jump: Morgan Young, Atholton
Shot put: Cassidy Bunyard, Atholton
Discus: Doyinsola Olayinka, Howard
Pole vault: Madison Garrigus, Atholton
Reach Jacob Calvin Meyer at email@example.com or on Twitter @jcalvinmeyer